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8 kids’ party game ideas that won’t break the bank

Planning a kids’ party for any sort of occasion can be fun, but working out how to keep little partygoers entertained throughout a morning or afternoon is always a challenge. If you’re at a loss, here are some kid-friendly games that are sure to keep smiles on their faces.

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Hyped-up little ones, ready to be entertained!

#1 Water Balloon Toss

How to play: Ask the kids to get into pairs, then give each pair a water balloon and tell them to form two lines, with partners facing each other. The game then starts with all players taking a single step backwards, so they’re moving away from each other. At the same time, the player holding the water balloon tosses it to their partner. If the partner catches it, the pair continues to take another step back, and the balloon is tossed again. If it drops or breaks, the pair is out. Keep the game going until one pair is left as the winner.

Materials needed: Water balloons

Number of players: Even number; 6 or more

Where to play: Outdoors

 

#2 Pass the Box

How to play: Before the game, prepare a box by wrapping any object in multiple layers of paper – the more the merrier. In between each layer, leave a note instructing the “lucky” person to do an action (it could even be something a bit embarrassing!). Sit the children in a circle and give one of them the box, asking them to pass it around the circle when the music plays. Whoever gets hold of the box when the music stops has to act out the instruction on the note. There are no winners or losers in this – it’s just plain fun! The game ends when the final layer is unwrapped. Note: after a child has unwrapped a layer and followed the instruction, he or she has the option of staying in the game or leaving it.

Materials needed: Music, box, papers

Number of players: 6 or more

Where to play: Either indoors or outdoors

 

#3 Blow, Wind, Blow

 How to play: Have the kids sit in a circle, and appoint someone (or ask for a volunteer) to start the game by standing in the middle. That player says, “Blow, Wind, Blow” and the rest respond, “Blow what?” The middle player then makes up a statement along the lines of, “Everyone wearing something pink”. Whoever fits the statement’s description has to get up and switch spots with another player as fast as possible. This gives the middle player a chance to find a place to sit while everyone is scrambling around. Once everyone has settled, the last player standing is the middle person. Continue the process. If a player happens to be in the middle more than three times, they’re given a “forfeit”. The forfeit can anything from imitating an animal to dancing, you decide!

Number of players: 8 or more

Where to play: Either indoors or outdoors

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A game of musical chairs going down to the wire…

#4 Musical Chairs

 How to play: Before the game, set up chairs in a circle or a line – it’s completely up to you, but the chairs need to face in opposite directions. The number of chairs should always be one less than the number of players. Once you’re done setting up, ensure you’ve got a playlist ready – this game requires music. One the music starts, the kids walk, dance or run around the chairs; when it stops (at any random point), they have to find a chair to sit immediately. The child who doesn’t find a chair is out of the game. Before each round, remember to remove a chair and close the gaps. Last child standing is the winner!

Materials needed: Music, chairs

Number of players: 8 or more

Where to play: Either indoors or outdoors

 

#5 Musical Statues (or Freeze Dance)

 How to play: Get the kids in a group on an open space and start playing music. When the music starts, they must dance along with it – the more enthusiastic they are, the better. When you stop the music at any random point, all players need to freeze. You can then walk around to see who is still moving or who hasn’t stopped quickly enough – those players are out of the game. To increase the level of difficulty, ask the kids to pose in a specific way when the music stops – imitating an animal, for example.

Materials needed: Music

Number of players: 8 or more

Where to play: Either indoors or outdoors

 

#6 Follow The Leader

 How to play: Appoint anyone to be the leader, or ask a kid to volunteer. The rest of the group, who are the players, then follow and copy whatever the leader does. If the leader hops on one leg, or does something embarrassingly funny, the rest of the players must follow. The leader has the power to increase the level of difficulty too, so whoever fails to follow or is not quick enough is out.

Number of players: 6 or more

Where to play: Either indoors or outdoors

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Two legs boring, three legs fun!

#7 Three-Legged Race

How to play: Before the game, mark out a start point and an end point. The number of players determines how much of the materials mentioned below you’ll need. Once you’ve got your materials and the competition ground ready, it’s time to start! Pair up the kids and have each of them stand next to their partner. Next, get them to put their arms around the partner’s waist or shoulder as you tie the pair’s inner legs together. The players then line up at the starting point. At your signal, they try to get to the finish line as fast as they can, whether it’s by walking or running. The pair who crosses the line first wins.

Materials needed: Long scarves, rags, ribbons or ropes

Number of players: 8 or more

Where to play: Outdoors

 

#8 Simon Says

How to play: Appoint a kid to be Simon (or someone could volunteer); the others in the group are then the players. It is Simon’s job to tells the players what to do. The trick here is that players must only obey commands that begin with “Simon Says”. If Simon says, “Simon says raise your hands in the air,” the players must act accordingly. But if Simon says, “Raise your hands in the air” without saying “Simon says,” the players mustn’t follow the instruction – anyone who does is out.

Number of players: 5 or more

Where to play: Either indoors or outdoors

 

Need more ideas and inspiration on how to keep the kids occupied? Check out our kids’ section

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